Verizon has reportedly decided to conduct an investigation into allegations that a person wearing "company gear" participated in last week's Charlottesville rallies alongside members of white supremacist organizations. That's according to sources with ties to Verizon's subsidiary, Oath, and has reportedly been verified with representatives of the company. However, the company has not given any information about how the discovery was made or shared any documentation it may have that pertains the claim. Instead, Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam sent a company-wide memo out to employees. The memo explained that he was "shaken" by the "violence and hate-filled rhetoric" that occurred at the rally. McAdam continued to express that news of a protester marching alongside members of the KKK and neo-Nazi groups while wearing "Verizon gear" was "disturbing." Finally, McAdam said that he would be personally involved in an ongoing internal investigation That memo effectively marked the beginning of the investigation.
In addition to not divulging any information about how the discovery itself was made, Verizon has also not provided any illumination into what gear the alleged protester was wearing. Given that the atmosphere surrounding the events of the protest is still turbulent, at best, it makes some sense that Verizon would neither want to endanger its employees by providing too much information or present an appearance of indifference. Bearing that in mind, while any conclusions are entirely speculative, the serious nature of the memo and the decision to start an active investigation led by McAdams seems suggest that the individual will be fired if it is discovered that he or she works with the company. Though there are likely other options available to the company, further comments included in McAdams' memo – which has been included, in full, below – also seem to point in that direction. According to the McAdams, the message coming from the groups in question "has no place" in either the country or at the company.
This would not be the first case of an organization letting somebody go over opinions expressed that differ from the underlying standards set by the company. While freedom of speech is a right in the company's home country, individual businesses have every right to control how they are publicly represented. With that said, the fact that Verizon hasn't provided more details also may suggests that the final outcome could come down to whether or not the individual in question was wearing anything to suggest that his opinions might represent the brand's own standards.